CFAH

Out of 65 listed single-family homes, condos and TICs in Bernal Heights six are currently identified as bank-owned (and an additional ten short sales) including 330 and 726 Banks.

And then there’s 349 Banks which, despite touting a “Motivated seller!” and “Huge price reduction!” from $724,000 to $669,000 six months ago, remains on the market after 358 days.

∙ Listing: 330 Banks (1/1) 760 sqft – $534,900 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 349 Banks (2/2) 1,652 sqft – $669,000 [Redfin]
∙ Listing: 726 Banks (3/2) 1,509 sqft – $498,900 [MLS]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by TAR thats about right

    24.6% of listings distressed…. sounds about right

  2. Posted by Marcie

    I love the difference between a staged house and one that shows what it’s going to look like if you actually own anything. LOL

  3. Posted by Gregor

    These three properties are all south of cortland st. There is big difference between the area south of cortland and the rest of bernal, especially close to the alameny projects.

  4. Posted by tipster

    ^Translation, this isn’t the REAL Bernal…

  5. Posted by diemos

    Yup, it’s not the Real Bernal™
    😉

  6. Posted by hipster tipster

    Oh, and PGE’s high-pressure pipeline runs right under Banks street. Just sayin’…
    http://www.sfbg.com/2010/09/21/pges-secret-pipeline-map

  7. Posted by rr

    Maybe the agent side of the MLS has a better interface, but the consumer side bites.
    Are there are TICs in the bank owned pool? They were once ‘immune’ to the foreclosure wave, though I’m sure they are not anymore.

  8. Posted by Gregor

    @diemos, I don’t care what is the real SF, real Bernal…etc. The fact is that homes south of cortland near the alemany projects have a different profile than homes in other parts of Bernal. Its not some type of snarky judgment.

  9. Posted by Former Bernal resident

    I can vouch for the difference parts of Bernal. We lived on Gates south of Cortland and even south of Crescent. We bought in 2004 and sold in 2008. We always kept a wary distance from the projects but after being mugged a block from our house in 2006, we decided to make that distance even greater by moving out. Nothing like feeling unsafe in your own house to get you to move. Homes in south Bernal aren’t comparable to other parts of Bernal.

  10. Posted by hangemhi

    whether you call it “real” bernal or break up the different areas of bernal with descriptive names – the fact is one part of bernal can be so drastically different from another it is stunning. if anything bernal is proof that the “real” argument still holds water. some parts of SF down 50%, some parts down 10%. “real”, aka more affluent sought after parts of town (or neighborhoods), are doing better than less desirable areas. and if the snark protrol has never stepped foot in bernal then that’s all you get from them.

  11. Posted by Snark17

    These houses are not in good areas. Two are tenant occupied dumps and one is literally on top of the freeway. I bought on a good street in “real” North Bernal and appraisal is up 10% since last year, no problem on my 4.5% refi, etc.

  12. Posted by R

    If we’re gonna talk about Bernal, this is my favorite: 3746 Folsom
    From the listing: “3-UNIT Edwardian in desirable Bernal Heights (Per Tax Record Property is a 1 bed/1 bath, SFR)” and a whopping 875 sq ft.
    Got to be a good story here.

  13. Posted by sfrenegade

    Of course, not everyone’s prices are up in north Bernal. SocketSite featured 160 Manchester earlier (7% nominal loss):
    https://socketsite.com/archives/2010/03/160_manchester_will_this_north_slope_bernal_stout_stand.html
    17 Costa will probably join it as a fixer apple loss. There are a few that sold a decent amount below asking, e.g. 3287 Folsom, 141 Elsie, and I think another one or two that SS featured.
    615 Precita seems to be chasing the market down, as is 79 Manchester. 8 Costa has been chasing the market down for almost 2 years. There are a decent number of fixers for sale too, all kinds of unwarranted space, so expect some price cuts.
    What ever happened with the place on Moultrie that dropped out of contract and raised its asking slightly?

  14. Posted by R

    If your examples are meant to show the weakness of Bernal, I’m not sure if they work:
    17 Costa: Bought 09/12/06 $641k – asking $679k ($1358 sq ft) [suspect square footage, but it’s very small]
    3287 Folsom: bought 04/02/10 $1.175 ($588 sq ft)
    141 Elsie: bought 05/28/09 $1.1 ($597 sq ft)
    615 Precita: list 09/10/10 at $949k, dropped 2 weeks later to $899k ($464 sq ft)
    79 Manchester: list 06/28/10 $765k, dropped today to $630k ($536 sq ft) [horrible little place]

  15. Posted by [anon.ed]

    Why lump disparate properties together as if each one is not unique or doesn’t have a story of its own? The 79 Manchester place is a funky half house on half a lot. 615 Precita has an uncooperative tenant but it might be priced to move now. 8 Costa has a pretty tough location with a straight shot at 101. The Moultrie property went back into contract two weeks later at the higher price. We’ll see what happens.

  16. Posted by sfrenegade

    Beyond my opinion on 17 Costa, I gave only factual info above, but:
    3287 Folsom was listed at $1.35M originally.
    141 Elsie was listed at $1.195M.
    17 Costa will probably drop more and is an apple (and a money loser even at current asking) and I pointed out another apple with a loss. If calling 17 Costa a 500 sqft house makes you feel better, please do so. There was another non-apple that barely covered its realtor fee (78 Anderson) in its increase, and was a loss overall.
    But people can keep saying it’s all micro bro. I’m cool with that. There are plenty of dumps in north Bernal too, and you can use the characterization Snark17 gave for some of the north Bernal houses on the market now if you switch the numbers: “[One is a] tenant occupied dump[] and [two are] literally on top of the freeway.”

  17. Posted by Willow

    85 Rousseau in South Bernal did nicely.
    Purchased in November 2001 for $554,000. Sold in June 2010 for $1025,000.
    http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Francisco/85-Rousseau-St-94112/home/1169359

  18. Posted by Gregor

    For what its worth, I saw 8 Costa, and its not just that its overlooking the freeway, but the house nextdoor is literally a burnt shell of a house, and one down is a total junker, garbage filling the backyard, and the owner has at least one pitbull. 8 Costa is not going to sell without a huge reduction
    http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Francisco/8-Costa-St-94110/home/17457281
    79 Manchester, in addition to being a weird half house, is part of an estate sale, and I don’t think you can show up at the court steps to buy using an FHA loan. So, perhaps that may eliminates a few potential purchasers as well.
    615 precita last sold for $479k in 1999, so someone will have to figure out the appreciation and rent v buy on the $899k sale price (I have no clue if they renovated)

  19. Posted by R

    So they had to drop from their dream asking prices? What does that show? The only two of your examples to have sales data both show nearly $600 a sq ft. Again, not sure how that shows weakness in Bernal?
    And yes, Costa is unlikely to be 500 sq ft as reported by Redfin, hence my comment:
    [suspect square footage, but it’s very small]

  20. Posted by lol

    Wow, you can feel the electricity in the air. Bernal is among a handful gentrifying battleground Realtors are trying to sell up since 2006. Glen Park is another one.
    This is an area where a smart speculator could make a killing, if the market psychology was holding, that is. Buy a run down house, bring your contractor buddy/partner, sell to a Google-type newbie who thinks this is Real SF.
    The word is out. Bernal is not the new Noe. Noe doesn’t have a huge chunk that you know to avoid at night.

  21. Posted by [anon.ed]

    Hardly. More like some Bernal locations always had problems getting high prices, even all through the last market, and this trend continues.

  22. Posted by [anon.ed]

    Hardly. More like some Bernal locations always had problems getting high prices, even all through the last market, and this trend continues. Also the Glen Park thing was forced, and without support, and everyone sees you pile on Noe whenever the mood strikes you.

  23. Posted by [anon.ed]

    It seems like the people who always say “Bernal … next Noe” are usually people who tend to pan most things on here. People who actually know the area and or live there know that Bernal will never be the next Noe, because the topography simply will never allow for it. They’re fine with that, too.

  24. Posted by lol

    Yup, the wave that gentrified Noe reached some areas of Bernal. And that wave is much less potent now.
    I saw a good number of places in Bernal these past 3 years. The target of SFHs was clearly people who could afford sub-par Noe but wanted more comfort. This wave’s moving South (GP,BH) and East (Potrero) but the current downturn is leaving many underwater wrecks in its path and where prices were not justified.

  25. Posted by anonee

    when you compare these places/prices to the world at large you realize how incredibly resilient sf re is. anywhere else in the world people would be incredulous at such prices for such sub-par places and locations. even those of us who do live here have a hard time believing it.
    the point? tho the edit wants to sing to the bears he simply highlights the bullish case…

  26. Posted by A.T.

    Yep, a real bull market we’re in. Here is yet another example:
    http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Francisco/8200-Oceanview-Ter-94132/unit-124/home/1830689
    Down 29% from its 2003 price (but OVER ASKING)! How incredibly resilient. (yes, it’s by a freeway, yadda yadda, just as it was in 2003).
    I do agree with anonee that even after the steep reductions of the last few years, SF real estate remains overpriced, meaning that prices will continue to fall much further. As I have oft-stated, even the discounted 2010 prices will seem obviously ridiculous a couple years from now. While it is not universal, this is now the general mindset as evidenced by the very low sales volumes in recent months.

  27. Posted by R

    Why bring up an Ingleside condo when we’re talking Bernal SFH? Not sure what that’s supposed to show?

  28. What looks resilient to you just looks stickier to me. It continues to erode at the edges and march inwards.
    On the other hand, what do the the resident economists think of the latest moves from the central banks around the world. Is it starting to look like that they may be able to engineer higher inflation expectations after all?

  29. Posted by lol

    Inflation?
    I think this is what’s going on right now. It looks like the Fed/Treasury/Banksters are winning this game.
    Commodities are being bought up (with direct effect on the price of your cup-o’-Joe this time). Gold breaks off. Chinese imports will soon become more expensive and there’s little chance US corporations will go on cushioning the shock like they did before.
    A foreclosure semi-freeze is now going to happen. The RE mess is not going to be resolved, which will have the incredible effect of constraining some supply and maintaining prices. I mean, there are too many foreclosures and they cannot process them properly, which means foreclosed property will slowly trickle into the market instead of the past surge.
    In short: I am cautiously turning bull on RE.
    Yup, you read it there. So much for the perma-bear theory of fluj.
    I’ll start buying this year and load up until 2012-2013. Anyone with good liquidity can make very decent deals today but not on anything/anywhere. There are still many delusional sellers out there.

  30. Posted by [anon.ed]

    permabear isn’t a theory, it’s a joke, and it was down to the same people saying the same things over and over again. if you’re gonna stop doing that then great.

  31. Posted by lol

    I am not gonna stop criticizing overpriced property, that’s for sure.

  32. Posted by lol

    I am not gonna stop criticizing overpriced property, that’s for sure.

  33. Thanks for your thoughts, lol. As for overpriced property that will continue to decline in real and nominal terms and merits criticism, SF is a target rich environment and that’s fo’ sho’ 🙂

  34. Posted by Willow

    My take on Bernal is that it is definitely a work in progress. As others have mentioned there is a mixed bag of housing inventory and more than a few areas that can be unsafe. However I feel the ongoing shift of employment to the Peninsula will continue to only help the southern parts of the city. While it’s considered a bit of an inside joke, in the long run I actually think Bernal will become closer to Noe than many suspect. Cortland is pretty comparable to 24th Street. With the Mission also gentrifying at a fairly steady pace I can only see things getting better. Falling prices may continue due to the current dynamics of supply and demand but that doesn’t mean the neighborhood is going to crash and burn.
    Glen Park in comparison is a lot further along. Great transportation options, more consistent housing inventory & a reasonable (not great) downtown village. It’s really found it’s footing over the past 5 years and any thoughts of it going back to yesteryear are misguided.
    Finally, on Noe…well it’s Noe.

  35. Posted by Willow

    ^ Full discloure: I own property in both GP & BH so this may be coloring my judgement.
    🙂

  36. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    lol wrote:

    A foreclosure semi-freeze is now going to happen. The RE mess is not going to be resolved, which will have the incredible effect of constraining some supply and maintaining prices. I mean, there are too many foreclosures and they cannot process them properly, which means foreclosed property will slowly trickle into the market instead of the past surge.

    A de facto foreclosure semi-freeze is almost already underway. Putting aside the foreclosure moratoriums announced by Ally Bank/ GMAC, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America in the judicial foreclosure states, of which California is not one, the Dems gubernatorial hopeful is applying all the pressure he can:

    After learning that the banks are halting foreclosures in other states, California Attorney General Jerry Brown directed both GMAC and JPMorgan Chase to cease foreclosures in California unless the lenders can prove they are complying with state law.
    Brown spokesman Jim Finefrock on Friday said the attorney general’s office is examining not just those banks, but the “lending industry as a whole,” to understand whether the problem is more widespread.

    Even before this latest wrinkle developed, the banks were understaffed when it came to foreclosure proceedings, so I don’t expect the foreclosure pipeline to clear in a prompt manner.

  37. Posted by lol

    I still don’t get why peninsula workers would want to live in GP or BH, simply to have an ersatz of a SF lifestyle. (Cortland! Yeah!). If the mere 10-15 minutes it takes to go to more central areas is that important, it means you’re already stretching your commute.
    One day, those peninsula/SV workers will realize there is no shame in living down south, on the contrary. It means you have grown up and moved on beyond your post-student self.

  38. Posted by [anon.ed]

    “I still don’t get why peninsula workers would want to live in GP or BH, simply to have an ersatz of a SF lifestyle. (Cortland! Yeah!). ”
    You don’t have to. What’s wrong with Cortland?
    “If the mere 10-15 minutes it takes to go to more central areas is that important, it means you’re already stretching your commute.”
    Are you?
    “One day, those peninsula/SV workers will realize there is no shame in living down south, on the contrary. ”
    Who says “shame” is inolved in any thought process?
    “It means you have grown up and moved on beyond your post-student self.”
    Says you. You should have stopped at not understanding or better yet said nothing. You’re coming off like a snob, and different strokes for different folks.

  39. Posted by sfrenegade

    FWIW, 85 Rousseau did not have its permits closed from being new construction in 1999 until 2006. It does not appear to be an apple. Can’t tell if the design is good or not from the pictures, but it certainly helps that it’s more Glen Park in character (and extremely close to Glen Park BART) than south Bernal, although I’m not a fan of its location as a cut-through between San Jose and Bosworth. Was this house mentioned on SS before?

  40. Posted by lol

    Have I touched a Bernal nerve?
    – I didn’t say there was anything wrong with Cortland. Just that it’s overhyped. It’s your usual local neighborhood central way. A few good cafes and eateries. Not much life after dark.
    – Commute: I work in the city and live in the city. My commute is less than 15 minutes and I paid my dues for it by passing on a few sweet tech jobs, but happiness is a combo plate and not everything has to be perfect. I have friends who commute to SV from Twin Peaks. I don’t get it. They’re gone on WEs. They leave early and come back late. They don’t really enjoy the city. To everyone his own. Maybe they’re snobs 😉
    – About shame. The SV is a very stratified world for housing, a bit more than SF. There is a pecking order very well defined by neighborhood/city and much Jonesing between colleagues. It’s a different place down south. Some people move to SF either to be out of that game or be in a different category altogether. If you cannot live in Los Gatos and your boss can, no need to waste 3 hours a day to say you live in the “city”. Just admit there are things you cannot achieve. And grow up.
    – The last insult is boilerplate fluj. Gotta love the typical “silence the criticism by silencing the messenger”.

  41. Posted by [anon.ed]

    It wasn’t boilerplate at all. Or really an insult. You have pretty definite views about what it means to live and to work in this area and you talk about them a lot. Funny and telling you’d call yourself a “messenger,” though. Nope, no self importance there.

  42. Posted by lol

    Not boilerplate? The “you’re stupid because I said so, please shut up now” line is sooo 2008.
    And yes, I am connected with the SV and people that live/work/commute there on a daily basis.

  43. Posted by Willow

    “FWIW, 85 Rousseau did not have its permits closed from being new construction in 1999 until 2006. It does not appear to be an apple.”
    I know the seller. It’s an apple. No new work was done since it was purchased. The permit history proably extends to 2006 because that was approximately when the last house in that development of 20 or so new houses were complete.

  44. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    I think that the crux of lol’s statement is that SV workers living in Bernal, GP, or Potrero aren’t really living in SF, they’re just sleeping in the city. They’ve either made the decision erroneously thinking that they can enjoy the city more by living there or they simply want the prestige of an SF address.
    Think about what amenities are within walking distance of those neighborhoods : essentially a town center “high street” of shops and restaurants. Nice though not at all unique to the city. Getting anywhere else using transit or a car (superwalkers and cyclists excepted), diminishing the SF locality.
    Better options offering the same or better neighborhood amenities lie down the peninsula along Caltrain in the villages surrounding the train stations : San Carlos, Burlingame, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Mt. View, etc. Larger downtowns, easier parking, shorter commutes, better schools. Plus when you want to visit the city Caltrain is right there (and you’ll have more free time to do so due to the shorter commute)
    The only situation where it makes sense for a SV commuter to live in SF is if they can either telecommute on most workdays (i.e. they’re not really a SV commuter) or if their spouse works in the city.

  45. Posted by [anon.ed]

    That wasn’t what was said at all, lol. What I said was, “You’re coming off like a snob.” Not, “You’re a snob.” Sorry if indeed I was the one who touched a nerve.

  46. Posted by [anon.ed]

    MOD, lol, I get it. However, telling other people what would be better for them is telling other people what would be better for them. Period.

  47. Posted by lol

    Getting anywhere else using transit or a car (superwalkers and cyclists excepted), diminishing the SF locality.
    Well, the “Heights” part of “BH” makes walk/cycle a bit challenging. Not many fixed wheels on Cortland… You need the right gears 😉 BH is not very good for commuting by foot except if you combine with Muni. Cycling is a bit better, though you have a bit of a car mess to reach Valencia Heaven. Most of these points are also valid for GP. Noe is better, but what else is new…

  48. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    anon.ed – true, perhaps I should have phrased it as evaluating a location on its merits and being open to other options. A SF address comes with a lot of hype and prestige which often isn’t merited. The “lesser” locales can be hidden gems found by those willing to lift the wool above their eyes.

  49. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    lol – you’d be amazed what some fixie riders can climb. In the middle of nowhere of Monterey county I bumped into a group of five twentysomething fixie riders who had left SF that morning, taking Hwy-1 with the intention to camp Big Sur that evening (with almost no gear, some just had messenger shoulder bags). I rode with them for about three hours up and down some steep hills that had me using most of my 21 gears. Yet I only saw one of the guys dismount and push up a hill once. Legs of steel.
    [their ultimate destination was LA !]

  50. Posted by lol

    The key word is “twentysomething”…
    Also are you sure they didn’t have the 2-gear wheels that you flip, like those they used in the 1900s Tour-de-France?
    Seriously, forcing in hills can be bad for your knees. I have stopped a going after 25%+ hills a few years ago, as a preventive measure. Still going up Vallejo in TH as well as Noe all the way and Hyde from the beach. But no more Kearny for me.

  51. Posted by Dan

    People choose to live in SF because their social circles are there, and because they enjoy what a city has to offer. Accessibility by transit and bike depends on where on the hill one lives. BART and cycling are easy commute options for me (with just a short steep walk to get to my house). The Mission is a short walk for restaurants. The fact that Bernal is not convenient to the Marina, Pacific Heights, or Cow Hollow is irrelevant to me; I rarely have reason to go there.

  52. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    lol – one or two of them had the flip wheel configuration though I never saw anyone stop to swap gears. You’re right about stomping slow being bad for the knees. The grades we hit were not as steep, maybe 15% max.
    Dan – not everyone is drawn to SF by social circles. Some know few or no-one in the city when they move in.

  53. Posted by lol

    not everyone is drawn to SF by social circles. Some know few or no-one in the city when they move in.
    True. I know very very few SV workers who actually came from the BA, not even studied here. They’re mostly imported geniuses, and they usually fall in love with SF, and to the lesser extent with the SV way of life, which is why they fantasize about buying in SF. But reality kicks in and SF becomes the week-end place. Some are doing the actual jump, but at what cost (time mostly).

  54. Posted by Dan

    Even people who don’t know anyone when they move here tend to fall into a social circle of new friends. In the suburbs, outside of work, these often revolve around family life, but for single people or couples without young children, these social circles are easier to find in the city.

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